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MCG earns flak from Gurgaon RWAs for opening open-air gyms; residents say maintain parks first

Residents demand the MCG first maintain the existing gym equipment instead of spending funds on creating infrastructure they cannot protect. MCG had first developed two such gyms in 2016, but less than a month later, the equipment at both the sites was broken and parts stolen.

gurgaon Updated: Feb 07, 2018 18:19 IST
MCG open air gym,Municipal Corporation of Gurugram,gurgaon news
A pottery shop has come up outside a park in Sector 44 which once that an open air gym. The gym was built by MCG in 2016 and is in a dilapidated condition. (Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

The recent decision of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) to install open-air gymnasiums in all parks of the city has received flak from residents who demand that the municipal corporation first maintain the existing equipment instead of spending funds on creating infrastructure they cannot protect.

On January 6, the MCG’s F&CC committee had approved installation of open-air gyms in all city parks. In its pilot stage, the body plans to develop one such gym in each municipal ward.

The announcement came two years after the MCG had first developed two such gymnasiums at Bhagwan Mahaveer Marg and near Ramada Hotel during its Green Raahgiri drive, under which it also created cycle tracks and planted hundreds of saplings in February 2016. Less than a month later, the equipment at both the sites was broken and parts stolen. These “gymnasiums” have since retained their dilapidated style. Given such state of affairs, the RWAs are not optimistic about the new initiative and its success. The bollards installed to demarcate cycle tracks were also removed to make space for illegal auto-rickshaw stands.

“On paper, the Green Raahgiri drive was one-of-its-kind, and held a lot of promise. But it took less than one month for all effort to go waste as officials failed to provide security to the installations. If another such project—open-air gyms—is introduced it may see a similar fate unless RWAs are given charge of its maintenance,” Amit Jindal, president of Vipul Greens on Sohna Road said.

Though the MCG will install the equipment in all parks, their maintenance and safety will be taken care by the RWA members.

Other residents said that the MCG first needs to focus on ensuring that all parks meet basic standards.

“There is no point in introducing open-air gyms in parks, if the parks themselves are dirty, unkempt and devoid of basic provisions such as streetlights, benches and drains. Hence, the concept is futile,” Nirlept Singh, president of Uniworld Gardens I, Sector 47, said.

VMK Singh, general secretary of Suncity, also held a similar view. He said the MCG needs to give “more autonomy (to RWAs) for successful implementation of the initiative or else the equipment will fall to neglect as has been the case in the past”.

The issue of introducing open-air gyms was discussed in last month’s MCG House meeting as well. However, officials evaded several questions from councillors when it was disclosed that MCG plans to install 600 pieces of equipment across all 500 parks in the city.

Each open gym can have any number of equipment, which can be defined by the RWA, depending on the space available, and number of apartments.

Ajay Nirala, executive engineer (horticulture), said, “The concept of open-air gyms is still in its early stages and will first be introduced to one park in each municipal ward in consultation with the local councillor. The work order has been issued for the project and work shall start from next month. Only after determining its success will the project be replicated to other sites (all parks).”

No official in the MCG commented on how the installed equipment would be protected from thieves and maintained.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 18:19 IST